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Questions about flights - time sensitive

Chicago
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Questions about flights - time sensitive

I'm sure this is answered elsewhere if I dig, but this is so time sensitive (airfare deep discount - flash sale) that I'm asking for help anyway. Apologies in advance.

I'm going as a solo traveler with a small group to China in October. We're meeting in Beijing and finishing in Shanghai. I have to arrange for my own travel and will arrive 2 days early. I don't know the hotels in advance.

Questions:

1. There are multiple airports in Beijing and in Shanghai. Which is easiest/best?

2. If I book a roundtrip to Beijing, will it be challenging to get back there on the last day of my trip from Shanghai or is that an easy/frequent flight? If that sounds ok, do you know of discount internal airlines?

Thank you so very much!

Toronto
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for Tokyo
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1. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

1. North American flights fly into PEK and PVG respectively

2. buy an open jaw ticket, fly into PEK, fly out of PVG, should be same price as Beijing return.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

1- 2 airports in Shanghai, only one in Beijing. Best for whaT?

2- There is a flight every 15 minutes and a train just as often. Check on ctrip.com for flights. flights are discounted all the time.

Beijing, China
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3. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

Actually, there are two airports in Beijing, but right now the second one, Nanyuan (NAY) is only used by China United Airlines for domestic flights. PEK would be the airport you want. In Shanghai, Pudong (PVG) is used for nearly all international flights and many domestic flights. But it is distant from the central city. For domestic flights and internationals to a few neighboring countries in the region, Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) is much more convenient due to proximity to much of the city and linkage to the railway system.

You should definitely purchase an international open jaw ticket into Beijing PEK and out of Shanghai PVG, no point in wasting time or money backtracking. For domestic travel, you might want to consider the railways, particularly if your desired route is serviced by high-speed rail. Scheduling is more reliable and less subject to delays and cancellations compared to domestic flights.

You mention October. I really hope you are not planning this trip for the first week of October, a major national holiday.

Edited: 02 August 2013, 21:19
Sherbrooke, Canada
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4. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

Right, I did not mention the second one so as not to confuse readers. I must have flown over 50 times into Beijing and only one time at Nanyuan.

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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5. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

You can buy round trip ticket Chicago to Beijing, Shanghai to Chicago, depending on your own case, often there is no extra charge, we do it often, fly into one city but leave China from another city, no extra charge. There is no reason to go back to Beijing unless you want to.

Beijing airport has more delay, PVG is better.

Same as kv said, more with few new data. Shanghai has 2 airports, PVG (East side) and SHA (west side) on opposite sides of the city. PVG is far, SHA is closer, also a train station hub, more convenient airport, but mainly domestic, int'l flights are by Chinese airlines only. Need to be careful, some travelers need to transfer clear across the city in 2+ hours ride just to catch a flight in different airports. For example if you fly to Shanghai from another Chinese city to go to U.S, you will land in SHA, long transfer to PVG to fly home, not a happy deal.

You can also take high speed train from BJ to Shanghai.

Chicago
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6. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

Thank you all. You're rock stars! This was so helpful. Now on to buy the ticket...Yay!

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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7. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

This may not matter to your travel plan, but I often buy UA tickets with multiple transits in varies cities and countries, i.e., I take the long way getting there. Often no extra charge or very trivia extra cost. Just in case if this may apply to your travel.

My goal is to fly from SFO to Guangzhou, instead of flying the fastest way, I fly from SFO to Osaka, visit for 2-3 days, then I fly from Osaka to Shanghai, stop for a week, then from Shanghai fly to Guangzhou, after 2 weeks, during the 2 weeks, we traveled to varies cities on our own.

On the return leg, we fly from Beijing to Seoul Korea, stop for 2-3 days, then fly back home to SFO. All on one round trip ticket, same cost, but got a lot more out of that same ticket.

Chicago
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8. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

Just a follow up to once again thank you. I didn't realize that I could get a multi-city roundtrip on UA. It only took 65,000 FF miles + $34 for non-stop flights! I've never had such an easy time using FF miles. Like a dream!

Macbcmini: I love your game plan. I considered starting in Hong Kong, but realistically I didn't have enough time. So, I'll use your approach next trip.

Thanks so much!

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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9. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

Thanks for coming back to tell us, most people never answer back after they posted the topic, not to mention thanking anyone. Let us know how the trip goes, have fun.

Chicago
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10. Re: Questions about flights - time sensitive

Will do!